How we feel about someone or something will determine how we act toward them. (Cf. Luke 10:25-37) So how do we change how we feel about someone or something especially if we feel badly?
1. Pray for them. This opens us up to God’s perspective.
2. Be kind to them, even if they don’t deserve it. After all, this is how God’s
grace works in our own lives.
3. Find something in them for which to be thankful. Gratefulness generates feelings of joy.
4. Trust God will invoke a change of heart. Nothing is impossible for God.
Can a tiger change his stripes? No. But we are not tigers. We are children of the living God called to approach the world and everyone in it as God approaches us in Christ Jesus. We can grow; we can even change how we feel; and we can learn to act more and more Christ-like every day.
God bless you as you follow this path,
Some key elements in faithful living according to Jesus in Luke 9:51-62
Have a clearly defined purpose (v. 51)
1. a. Define what God wants you do.
(After 40 days, Jesus knew)
b. Determine what you are willing to give.
(Jesus knew it would cost his life.)
c. Establish a definite date when it will be done. Create a plan and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put it into action.
(Jesus had a clear plan beginning with his baptism and the call of his first disciples.)
d. Write out a clear concise statement of what God wants you to do, what you’ll give, the time frame, and your plan.
e. Go over this plan every morning and evening allowing yourself to both feel and believe you already are doing. (Jesus prayed in evenings and mornings.)
f. Believe it will happen and let yourself imagine what your life will look like when it is happening. (Jesus called this praying and believing you have already received it.)
2. Learn to let go and move on. (v. 56)
3. Eliminate distractions. (v. 58)
4. Give up excuses. (vs. 60,62)
Jesus says, just as I have loved you, you should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have a love for one another.
For most of us, June marks the start of the summer season. Our youth get out of school. We get out of the house off on vacations to the beach or the mountains or to see relatives or to places we’ve never been. We look forward to fresh corn, tomatoes, melons, squash, beans, peppers, and other vegetables. We fire up the grill or stoke a fire in the pit to serve up meats kissed with our favorite smokes—mesquite, oak, hickory, cherry, and apple woods. We have many opportunities to show love like Jesus is talking about.
To love like Jesus is to invest in those around you wherever you are, whenever you are with them. On vacation, will we venture to strike up a meaningful conversation with that parent who looks like they are struggling? Will we share the produce of our gardens with that neighbor who is living off food stamps? Will we invite those we don’t know well to our backyard parties so that we might get to know them? There are so many ways we can love like Jesus.
How about us as a church? As we make plans for the summer and for the fall, how can Friedens show the people of Gibsonville that we care about them—that Jesus cares about them? I’d like to invite you to look around, dream a little, and share with me your ideas how we can reach out to the people of Gibsonville. You can text me or leave a voice mail message at 336-693-7000. I’ll look forward to hearing your ideas. May we not only kick off the start of the summer season, may we also kick off the start of showing and sharing Jesus’ love in a fresh, new way.